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First of all my studio. I call it the Resurrection Sound Kitchen because I do a lot of resurrecting. Mainly old tapes and videos.
This consisits of cleaning up old recordings and converting VHS/Hi8 to PC format - WAV/MP3/MPEG/DVD etc.
My gear has changed over the years like many studios and I will try to explain what I used to create these pieces of music as I go
I have had to steal a lot of pictures off the interweb I am afraid - so I apologise. I never really considered that I should take photos of my stuff until now.
RIP Mr Bowie - The Man Who Sold the World
Moondance - Van Morrison song - another attempt at singing - recorded originally in 2015 but I have re-recorded the bass and rhythm guitar parts
Indulgent Dub Featuring soun ds from the Minibrute
Child Star - you might know this from Marc Bolans fiorst album
New Microphone - as used on the Thriller Album (aparently) - the Shure SM7-B
2015 - New cut down rack
Including Behringer Audio Interface FCA1616 Zoom Studio1204 multi FX Lexicon MX400 Digitech GSP1101 Drawmer MX30 Powercenter (PDU)
Yamaha Hifi Amp AX-396
Only using Soft Synths and Cubase Elements 8
September 2015 - Here is a re-vamp of a track originally recorded on the TASCAM 144 - It was originally called genesis. I have tried to keep the original flavour
I started this track in 2014 - now that I have Groove Agent 4 the drum part is much better. I also re-recorded the guitar part. The bass was DI'd straight out of the Trace Elliot
October 2015 - a completed piece of work in progress - this is "12 minutes of skankin"
October 2015 This is a Soft Machine song that I have always liked - Sorry about the singing - I will propbably not get the vocal any better (after 40 takes)
November 2015 - This is a new rendition of a Forbidden Fruit song written by Steve Todd (hope you dont mind) called Theif Come
New Track using GSP1101 July 2015 and Groove Agent
Roland JV80 This keyboard was suffereing from the dripping red gunge phenominum - I fixed it by removing the keys and soaking them in a very strong solution of caustic soda. Once the metal weight had been removed and all traces of red glue was removed I stuck the weight back in with Hard as Nails
2014 - using Halion 2 - Going North
2015 - Dingbat Alien - a Daevid Allenesque (RIP) ditty which started life in the 1980's as a track called just 78
2014 - Cubase and Halion 2
- Trace Elliot AH350X
Massive sound - the heaviest bit of kit in the band
Speaker - Trace Elliot 1518C
Later additon is an Ashdown 2X10
WeB50 Recording session
Fender American Standeard Jazz Bass
This was a present to myself for my 50th birthday - I though it was about time I had one - do I like it?
Its not as nice to play as the Overwater !! - but it has a great sound
I would one day like to buy a really good microphone
These ones are good for live recording - which is mainly what I need
I have made the decision to consolidate a lot of gear - I have chosen a hard disk recorder with a digital mixer by Fostex
The back end can be left on the stage and then linked to the digiatl mixer by a network cable - there is not need for a multicore - horrah - something else I can get rid of.
This is a great idea - I can use it at home or in a live situation.
It has 16 XLR inputs and records up to 16 channels at once.
There are lots of recordings using this setup on the WEB50 page
Mobile recording rig getting ready for action - note Trace Elliot combo and extension cabinet - photo taken in 2011
The amp in the rack is a Behringer reference A500 which is used to drive a couple of Carlsboro 12" cabs - great for small gigs or monitors
NRG 1512 2X15 350W 8Ohms Went to a good home at the Guitar Studio
- I have updated my rack - everything is in one place.
Since this photo was taken I have got rid of all of my synths
I now use Hallion 2 for my sounds and Cubase Elements for my DAW
I still use the Hard Disk recorder below for live recording
I did not have this MG206c for very long as the band I was going to join never materialised - so I did not need it.
Its a great shame as it was a great piece of kit and would have been ideal for gigs and rehearsing
Other Mixers I have had in my setup include Behringer Eurorack RX1202FX - It had a really annoying blue LED that could take your eye out if looked straight at it
Eurorack Pro 1602 - a brilliant little keyboard/Outbourd summing mixer
A Behringer XENYX 502 great for parties and BBQ's when you just need to play CD's through the PA
The Alesis Multimix with USB and FX
Used for many a WEB50 rehearsal
This is my Rack - or was my Rack. I have now spread the gear out a bit but fundamentally use the same gear
Novation KS Rack
2 Behringer Patchbays
MOTU Midi Express128
Alesis Midiverb IV and Midiverb 2
Behringer 1602 submixer
Behringer Ultragain Pro ADA8000 (For ADAT)
2008 Rack Required
I have recorded a few things just to get used to the synths
Black Napkins (Frank Zappa)-
Shades of Green (T White)-
2007 - Upright Bass
I wanted to try some of the Shanakee numbers with the sound of an upright - this sounded great but I had trouble with the fingering in the upper octave - should have bought one of these years ago. Sold it on ebay for more that I payed for it - result
I have never used a great deal of outboard effects
Midiverb 2 and 4 Zoom Studio 1204
Behringer V Bass preamp
Roland Midi guitar interface I still use this on occasion
The Zoom G7.1ut is a very sturdy bit of kit - too complicated for me - had some great sounds though - I ended up giving it to the band guitarist
I moved the Synths next to my Novation RemoteSL having built some angled wooden stands - this made it easy to access the many controls on the MP7 and KS Rack
This is a Keystation Pro 88 - I thought I wanted fully weighted keys - I didnt - I sold it to a Chinese guy who took it home on the train on a trolley
Mastering was always a problem - the only way to do this on the AW4416 was to burn a CD or record the analogue back to the PC - I got hold of this Fostex VR-800 off ebay to see if I could effectivley use it to master - it sort of worked but you could only transfer the resulting files back to the PC via ADAT. It was a good theory though
This was mastered on the VR800 - These Boots are made for Walking - this was to be ouyr next video after the Horse with No Name
Cubasis is handy if you want to access an old .ALL or .ARR file. It still runs on a win7 64bit system (in 32bit mode of course)
This is the Yamaha DD55 portable drum kit.
It came with 2 pedals for kick and hi-hat. The drum sounds were brilliant - much better than my drumming ability. The other (big) problem was that when you hit it with sticks, it could be heard throughout the house and it really annoyed everyone so it had to go.
An Aria Pro II SBR60 (1981) Bought off of the olf Forbidden Fruit bass player - sold on ebay in 2005
This had a great sound for recording and a lovely action - my Overwater does not have a good recording sound without a preamp. I bought this because we were rehearsing in a Studio at Netherfield that got very hot. The overwater did not like it - this bass could cope a lot better
Aria Pro II Fretless and Peavey Combo I remember that the combo was stolen from my car one night
Trace Elliot BLX150 combo
Wow what a sound - this replaced the Peavey in so many ways
I was amazed at how much bass came out of that 10" speaker. I later added a 2X15 PA speaker to the setup for gigs. I cannot remember the model of the cab.
The New Mellenium
8 Tracks - here we go
I was playing with a new band called Shanakee and wanted to record a CD. Having spent ages looking at what was available my budget stretched to a Fostex D-80 and an Alesis 32 input (rack mountable) mixer.
Put it all in a rack and you have a huge Portastudio !
This setup could be put in the car and transported to rehearsals - easily set up and could also feed the PA.
It was a great way of collecting usable material.
For the CD though more care was taken - the drums, guide guitar and vocals were all recorded in the rehearsal environment (my sister in-law's living room) and the rest of the tracks recorded in my room at home.
This is my heavily modified 1966/70 Yamaha SG5 I added a humbucker pickup to make it like an SG7 (I found that out recently) I lost the tremelo arm at a gig at the Brighton Pavilion and sold the guitar on ebay to a chap in Australia. Everyone loved to play this guitar
Guild B-301 fretless bass. This guitar has a strange balance due to the rather large headstock
I can't remember what happened to it but I remember a guy called John Dover appeared on my doorstep wanting to swap it for his strat - perhaps I should have done that - I may have swapped it for a Bang and Olufson record deck instead - or was that how I got the Yamaha - it may well have been???
The only FX pedal I owned was an Electro Harmonix Dr Q I think I wanted to sound like Gong's Hansford Rowe on Expresso II
1984 - Hohner Clavinet / Pianet "Duo" I bought this from Frank, Shyboy's keyboard player - it was heavy but had a great sound. I used it in Forbidden Fruit for a bit - I think I may have sold it back to Frank
The Roland SH101 was a greeat synth - Frank used to use it with Shyboy for his more adventurous solos. I used it as a Bass with Positive Routes (there is a photo below) My SH101 may now be in France somewhere possibly.
1983 Overwater series one
Purchased 10th October 1983 for £299 (shop soiled)
I also bought this Sitar from a shop in Eastbourne - I never did record anything with it. I sold it in 2005
Sapphire Flute bought in 1982 - it was great until Steve Francis sat on it (twice) it stiill played but not as it should - I used to play it with Forbidden Fruit
My attempt at Erik Satie Gymnopedie No1
How about a bit of Dub Clarinet I bought one in a second hand shop
Soundmaster Stix drum machine (owned by Chris). It had seperate outputs so you could feed the snare drum out and add reverb or echoe.
Portastudio Period 1980's 4 Track
Me and my mate Chris decided that we could combine forces and buy a 'top of the range' piece of kit.
The first TEAC Portastudio recorded 2 tracks at a time but played back all 4 tracks in sync. It had 2 speeds, treble and bass and 1 effect send.
My dad (electronics) added 4 phono sockets to the case so that the signal being fed to the sliders could be sent to an external mixer, an M&M 12 channel job with more effects sends and better EQ. This mixer also had some mods on it. You could throw a switch and sent the fader output to an external socket - this could be fed in turn to an input or an external effects unit. This was good for dub mixes.
My effects unit was in fact a Sony reel to reel which could be set up, (by feeding the output on one track to the input of another) to become a great stereo echoe unit, by monitoring the output from the record head and the play head at the same time. If you played around with the input volume and the speed it you could get some excellent results.
Some early 144 experimentations
Sinclair Spectrum and the SpecDrum. The Specdrum was a mono sampler, (only a few seconds) a 2 chanel midi sequencer and a drum machine all in a little plasic box that plugged into the back of the spectrum. It took ages to load the software, but was a great bit of kit for the time. I purchased the Spectrum Kit in 1985 at a cost of £139.99
Brandenburg Concerto No5
The synth is Chris's DX21 Drums from the specdrum
A little ditty using the same sources as above
This is a Dub track using the Specdrum
AKG D80 microphones
A DX21 (Image from Flitemedia)
The Evolution EVS-1 synth - used mainly for sequence bass lines Photo from MATRIXSYNTH
Another of my dads keyboards - the humungous Maplin ETI4600 this was used to get the vocal sound on We Are Metal
2 more synths that belonged to Chris featured along with the casiotone on the Holograme Expose songs.
This is the bass amp I was using in the early 80's. I found this picture of me using it while I was pklaying keyboards (casiotone) with the DumDum Boys I have found this spec oin the interweb -
Intermusic Vintage B120 Bass Amp Head British, 1980’s Solid State 120 watt bass amp head unit.
2 input channels and 2 Speaker outs Built in fully adjustable Phaser FX 5 Tone pots Treble boost switch Solidly built in its own flight case with handles
I remember going to Bexhill to buy it with my dad and I think it cost £60
Not my Bass - can't remember where it came from so I must have borrowed it for the Seaford recordings with Hooker
I also used the Korg as a bass synth - at this time it belonged to the bands soundman and future keyboard player Steve.
I am not sure of the timing, possibly early 80's but my best mate Chris, was looking at a keyboard called a Powertran Transcendent DPX which was in kit form. I must have suggested that I could build it because Chris bought it and I set about building it for him. I remember there were 2 enourmouse PCB's inside and every key had a spring contactlinked to an aray of resistors - it took ages to build - and it worked.
A step up from the 2 cassette deck method was to go to Chris's house and use his Akai Reel to Reel. I remember I once carried this from his house to mine - a 2 mile walk - so that I could record a Shyboy gig in Sidley.
Chris also had a collection of Guitar effect units that I was lucky enough to use - all elecro Harmonix. These were brilliant pedals.
Here are some recordings that utilised the DRM32 drum machine
Me and Paul Fuller at the Factory I am playing a VOX Les Paul (as a bass) through my first amp - a Sound City 120 Cant remember much about the WEM cab other than it had a plastic cover The VOX started off life white with only 2 pickups
The only guitar gadget I had at this time was a treble booster that you plugged into the front of your amp
Very Early Period
My dad used to do electronics - by that I mean he would build somehting one day and take it to bits the next to make his next project, leaving the remnants in his shed.
He built me a simple mixer that had 4 inputs.
Mic/Line In 1 - Output - Left Channel
Mic/Line In 2 - Output - Right Channel
Mic/Line In 3 - Output - Stereo
Line In 4 - Output - Stereo
This meant that you could record onto one cassette deck - Left/Right or both, then swap the cables round, play the tape back through input4 and record something else over the top (left/right or stereo) onto another cassette deck. Brillaint. Who needs an 8 track Brennel anyway (I did!!!!) I had to put up with 2 ITT cassette decks (those pictured in fact) instead. These were probably quite good machines for the day - my dad worked at ITT so he used to get discount.
Here are 2 Slade songs recorded with this technique.
I was a fan in 1976 when this was recorded.
The second song includes my school friend Paul (Budgie) Burgess on backing vocals and also features a wind organ - the type that you would probably buy in Woolworths - Very Tyrannasaurus Rex
Dapple Rose from their first Album, Play it Loud (Lea/Holder)
Wonderin' Y - B Side to Take Me Bak 'Ome (Lea/Holder)
This one is my own composition, and posibly my first. - Enosupo